Comments about ‘Letter: The math doesn't add up’

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Published: Monday, Feb. 24 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Omaha, NE

Aren't Businesses (which pay a large % of the school price) eventually benefiting enormously from the large families's future children who become their employees, their future customers, etc?
Still, I get the point, especially from single or childless families. Seems like wealth redistribution to me. How about this compromise? As a conservative, I'd be willing to get rid of all of the Republican wealth redistribution programs (the school funding model, child tax credit, etc.) if the liberals are willing to get rid of all of the Democratic wealth redistribution programs (welfare, medicaid, medicare) etc.

Here, UT

People who choose to have large families should participate in the cost of educating those large families. That is the only fair method. Eliminate per-child tax deductions.

Far East USA, SC

"if the liberals are willing to get rid of all of the Democratic wealth redistribution programs (welfare, medicaid, medicare) etc."

The GOP has done a great job selling the narrative that it is the Democrats that put forth all of the "redistribution programs"

Can you point me to a Republican who is for ending medicare or SS?
Did you notice that it was the GOP controlled government that championed NCLB and Medicare Part d (largest entitlement expansion in decades). Voted for by all current GOP leadership - Boehner, McConnell, Canter, Ryan.

Bottom line is that the GOP is just as likely to spend big (even on entitlements) when they are in power. They only show fiscal restraint when they are out of power.

And the sad thing is that the proposal is to reduce the tax credit to only 2 children.

Can anyone provide info on what $$ increase that means for the average Utahn? I bet it is very small.

Sandy, UT

@Hamathm. I have to agree with Joeblow. Republicans are slamming democrats in Florida, in political ads for taking money away from medicare.

All republicans know that taking away medicare and social security are political suicide.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

To those of you who want to make large families unequal when they are taxed, just how do you reconcile your posts with the 14th Amendment that some of you demand be used to allow same-sex marriage. On the one hand, you demand full equality, but when it hits your wallet, you want special status. Isn't that always the way it is. You'll for anything that helps you, but when it comes time to open your wallet to benefit someone else, you cry "foul".

Some people choose to not have children. Some "marriages" can never produce children. But, some people in Utah have large families. You want to punish them by making them pay $150 per child more in taxes than you pay. YOU have your exemption. YOU, your wife and two children have their exemptions. But you think that you are special. You demand that others pay a hirer price to live in YOUR society. You want them to shoulder a larger share of the tax burden than you bare.

Judge Shelby will throw you and your ideas out of his court room.

Far East USA, SC

So THAT is what this is all about? $150 per child per year.

Let me see. That amounts to less than .0001875 of the cost of that years education.

The family with 6 kids is getting over $600,000 worth of education. How much of that do you think comes out of their pocket?

And still they complain. Wow. Just WOW.

Some people wouldn't recognize a sweet deal (or an entitlement) if it landed in their own pocket.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah


This is about punishing families. This is about having the government decide that two children is the "right" number per family. This is about giving some people exemptions and refusing to give other people the same exemption. This is about giving schools $200,000 each with no strings attached, no oversight, no justification. This is about one class of people in Utah telling another class that they are undesireable. This is about those who dislike children telling children that they don't matter.

This is about a Democrat in Utah telling Utah families that she will make their life miserable because she has the power to do that.

This is plain and pure discrimination. If you're in favor of discrimination, you'll like the bill. If you're for the unequal taxation of people, you'll like the bill. If you're in favor of penalizing large families, you'll like the bill. If you're in favor of giving schools tax money to do with as they please with no accountability, you'll like the bill.

As for me, there is nothing in the bill to like. Nothing at all.

Lew Scannon
Provo, UT

As a parent of four children who are now adults, let me add a little perspective. When my kids were in public school, I was early in my career and was not earning much. Taking away the two exemptions would have been somewhat difficult. Raising kids is expensive. But it's an investment that pays off in the future for all of society. Now that my kids are grown and I am saving for retirement, I can afford to pay more taxes, which I am glad to do to help out those who are now in the position I was in ten to twenty years ago.

Also, I figure it is in my own best interest to support a strong school system, because when today's junior high and high school students have been in the workforce a few years, their taxes will help to pay for my Social Security and Medicare.

We're a society, folks; that means we help each other out. It's not each man for himself (or each woman for herself). So, conservatives, please get off the Darwinist soapbox.

Far East USA, SC

"If you're for the unequal taxation of people, you'll like the bill. "

Seriously Mike, How can you say that.

Take 2 Families.

Family 1 - Mom, Dad, Kid 1 - Salary $75K House value $200K

Family 2 - Mom, Dad, Kid 1, Kid 2, Kid 3, Kid 4, Kid 5 - Salary $75K, house value $200K.

Family 1 pays more in taxes and uses less of the schools.

How is that NOT unequal treatment?
Why should family 1 pay more in taxes than family 2?

Sandy, UT

@Mike Richards. Now you are for helping others? How many times have you said Obamacare is redistribution of wealth and unconstitutional?

Just yesterday you commented on SB139's faulty logic, which is about a bill that would levy a tax on emission free vehicles. You were in favor of a user fee or tax for emission free vehicles.

You said, "A car is useless without roads. Electric vehicles do not pay fuel taxes. High efficiency vehicles pay a very small amount of fuel taxes, yet both kinds of vehicles require that roads be built and maintained." Schools require more resources with more kids do they not?

You also said "A car getting 15 miles per gallon will pay a 1.63 cents per mile tax. A car getting 50 mpg will pay 0.49 cents per mile traveled. An electric car will pay nothing. They all use the same road".

Big families and small families use the same schools, do they not? But you our outraged larger families should pay a little more.

So you are in favor of other people opening their wallet for you, not the other way around

Sandy, UT

Excuse Joe Blow....

Just how is Family 1 paying more taxes? Look at all the tax credits you can take on your Federal return BEYOND the deduction for children (remember State tax is based off you federal tax).

People with large families takes deduction for children. while families with less children can take other deduction like installing energy efficient devices, business expenses, Profit/Loss of stocks, etc...

So while the larger family gets dependent deductions, it does not always mean the people who have no children or fewer children get not equal or greater deductions.

This whole thing against larger families getting some type of break is a farse. If you don't think so, then look at how much money a large family spends in the economy and how much a family that has no children spends... each generates revenues for business, who in turn pays state taxes.

Salt Lake City, Utah

An entitlement is an entitlement whether it is an entitlement given to senior citizens (social security), whether it is an entitlement given to the poor (welfare, food stamps ACA), whether it is a tax break for a new business we want in our community, or tax breaks for oil companies or private jets, or tax break for having more children.

This legislation is not an attack on large families, it simply trying to get large families to get some "skin" in the game using a favorite far right term when it comes to the cost of educating their children. If this were an attack on large families, then we would see a proposal that would reduce my taxes because I have no children in the system and raise taxes large families taxes. I see no where in this proposal where my taxes will go down, and I will still be paying more than the family with 4 children for education, and I am ok with that because we should all have skin in the game when it comes to public education.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I agree that families with more kids should be paying more for their education (not less). But education is a community good/service. There is a clear community interest in having a good education system (whether you have kids or not). It shouldn't be funded ONLY by parents with kids in school (because the school system benefits the whole community). But there should be a way for families with more kids to pay more.

The current way of funding schools (property tax) doesn't take family size into account.

Maybe the best solution would be to do away with the income tax deduction for having children. But governments are used to encouraging behaviors that benefit society (like having children, having a mortgage, investing for retirement, etc)... and the easiest way to manipulate the population they have found is... the tax code (give tax breaks for having children, having a mortgage, tax breaks for retirement savings, etc).

So I don't expect the deduction to encourage people to have children will go away. As long as government sees having children as something they want to encourage.

Sandy, UT

The only difference between a Democrat and Republican is how they spend our money. Do we invest or do we spend it on tax breaks for those not in need? For your information, those posting on this site receive more tax subsidies than those on Welfare, SNAP and Unemployment in the form of deductions and those with extra kids receive even more. The argument should be "all in, no one left out" and yes there is enough money to pay for it. You just have to quit the annual special interest quest on Capital Hill.

Salt Lake City, UT

At the same time, conservatives rail against poor people having kids claiming some use it to exploit the system to increase benefits... then again the stereotypical Utah family is white, not black or Hispanic so you know, I guess the "welfare queen" argument doesn't apply here...

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

How do you know "those posting on this site receive more tax subsidies than those on Welfare, SNAP and Unemployment"?

Just another politically biased stereotype based assumption?

Truth is... You have no idea what income bracket the people who post to this site are in, or what business they are in, or even what personal philosophy or political bend they are.

Not everybody believes the political assumptions you know.


RE: "The only difference between a Democrat and Republican is how they spend our money"...

That's mostly true. One tends to spend it on Defense. The other tends to spend it on entitlements. I like the Federal Government making sure we have a first rate Defense/military (I see that clearly mandated in the Constitution). I don't see where it's their job to send me paychecks for being unemployed, being retired, etc, in the Constitution.

The other difference is... how much money Democrats are comfortable taking from your pay-check. One has a lot higher goal than the other.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

The left wing will stop at nothing in its attempt to destroy the traditional family. If the left cannot destroy it directly, it will be happy to do so indirectly by taxing it out of existence.

The slumbering masses must awaken and rise up before the left wing socialists destroy American society. Does the public really want America to become just a European-style post-Christian socialist republic? Of not, it is time to act.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

those darned seniors, demanding so much more from our social services structures than younger people, more health care, more social servies, etc, and they have AUDACITY to claim an extra exemption on both the state and federal tax returns.

Those darned blind people, demanding so much more from our social services structures than sighted people, more health care, more social servies, etc, and they have AUDACITY to claim an extra exemption on both the state and federal tax returns.

get the picture?

If our liberal friends are so demanding of equal treatment, why are they not SCREAMING for the removal of the extra exemptions for the elderly and the blind?

No, despite their misgotten claims of wanting to care for those less fortunate, they really just want to punish people with more kids.

I think they may just want to implement the Chinese 1-child policy, enforcing it through the tax code

As Hamath points out, large families contribute more to the economy than is measured just in income tax reciept - they pay more in sales taxes and generate more economic activity to raise those kids than do the childless.

Bountiful, UT

I'm of two minds on the conservative reaction to the effort to limit tax shelters for having kids:

-On one hand I'm happy to help pay for the education of kids, they are the future, they'll become tomorrow's leaders and bread winners, etc.

-On the other hand, this reaction is ridiculous hypocrisy, given the conservative instinct to denigrate Social Security and Medicare as "Pyramid Schemes", and generally frown up social spending as being either unwise, or un-constitutional.

Overall, my only hesitation in supporting ongoing uneven taxation to support education is that with the prevailing culture, producing more kids will produce more people who view social spending as evil, except how it benefits them, of course.

Hypocrisy is just a bad way to live, especially as it gets engrained and becomes multi-generational.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Karen Van Winkle" since the money is not making it to the kids, lets see where it goes. The last time the funding was bumped up, none of the money made it to the classrooms because it was put into the pension program for retired teachers.

The bigger question that you should be asking is why do private schools have smaller classrooms when spending is about the same? Private schools cost around $8000/yr. Right now we spend around $8000/yr per studen when you include building costs for public schools. Why do the private schools do so much better than the public schools? Is it even possible to legislate our way to making public schools equal to the private schools?

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